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GoNOLA Recommends: 10 Activities for a Rainy Day in New Orleans

Relish the raindrops with these fun, rainy day activities.

After living in the Pacific Northwest after college, I appreciate the type of rain showers we get here in New Orleans – short, fast, and to the point. Many times, rain in this city tends to pass quickly and there are still sunny, clear skies to be enjoyed during the storm. If you find yourself visiting and greeted by unexpected showers, don’t fret – there are many fun activities that you can explore while you ride out the storm. Here are some suggestions to keep you dry and entertained.

10 Indoor Activities for a Rainy Day in New Orleans

1. Take in a movie. You’ve got a plethora of great options for this one: The Theaters at Canal Place has amazing truffle popcorn, Prytania Theatre has a cozy, hometown feel, and Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center always has thought-provoking entertainment on tap.

2. Work on your moves. Take a dance class! Some class ideas: bounce fitness at Dancing Grounds, salsa at Dance Quarter, swing dance at NOLA Jitterbugs or burlesque at Crescent Lotus. I recently tried the Make it Reyn class at Reyn Studios and it was an hour of frenzied, fun dancing that made me forget I was exercising.

Calligraphy is a perfect rainy-day activity. Please excuse my beginner's hand. (Photo: Nikki Carter)
Calligraphy is a perfect rainy-day activity. Please excuse my beginner’s hand. (Photo: Nikki Carter)

3. Get crafty. Enroll in an arts and crafts class. I took a Copperplate Calligraphy class this summer at New Orleans School of Art and Craft and it was such a great experience; unfortunately, there was a fire this summer that destroyed the original location, but they are in the process of relocating and you can see updates on their website. Other options are New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts and New Orleans School of Metalsmithing.

4. Indulge in some retail therapy. Check out the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, which features outlet retailers like Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Gap Outlet, Coach, and much  more. For more shopping, head to The Shops at Canal Place. It’s in the same location as the movie theater and features higher-end retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, J.Crew, and Anthropologie.

5. Expand your mind. Visit one of the city’s great museums. You can easily spend an entire day at a place like the National WWII Museum – there are floors of interactive exhibits, information booths, and even a movie. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art have impressive permanent collections.

6. Treat yourself! Zone out and enjoy a spa service like a mani/pedi at Buff Beauty Bar or Amy’s Nails.

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is fun for all ages. (Photo: Nikki Carter
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is fun for all ages. (Photo: Nikki Carter

7. Take a cooking class. New Orleans School of Cooking and New Orleans Cooking Experience are a few of the cooking schools in town. You can learn more about Cajun cooking and enjoy what you make, which sounds like a win-win to me!

8. Be a nerd. Grab an iced coffee from a local coffee shop like Hivolt (with two locations) or Mojo, and then hit up a local bookstore. A couple of my favorite bookstores are Octavia Books and Maple Street Bookshop.

9. If you can’t beat it … Bust out your umbrella and stroll along Magazine Street – there are awnings that provide protection from the rain, provided it’s not too intense, so you can still be outside. There are plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you busy.

10. Hang out with animals who love the water. Visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and be sure to factor in enough time to visit the IMAX Theater to learn more about animals all over the world. Another fun day would be spent taking a walk through the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.

Note: as far as transportation in the rain, if you’re not familiar with the city I would recommend taking a taxi so you don’t have to worry about one-way streets and finding a parking spot. If it’s not raining heavily, the streetcar remains a great option. 

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